Fishing the Rocky Shorelines
The northeast’s beaches and shorelines are what most would consider “rocky terrain.” In fact, a large portion of the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts coastlines are dotted with boulders, rocks and gravel, creating a terrific habitat for the predator fish and their food of choice. While fishing the nearby beaches and their connected rock piles, another man-made rock structure cannot be disregarded by the angler.
Jetties are rock structures made by human hands that were built for a host of reasons. Rational reasons include curbing beach erosion, quelling storm surges, and creating a causeway leading into a river or salt pond. They are all good reasons, but the most important fact to a fisherman is that they all will hold fish at some point.
Baitfishes often spend their final moments of life up against the walls of these jetties. In fact, bluefish, striped bass, weakfish and false albacore love these areas simply because they are rife with turbulent waters that are fast moving. The baitfish become confused in these areas and turn out to be an easy meal for a hungry school of predators. One reason they are so close to the walls of the jetty is that the water is generally most turbulent in that area.
The jetty has become home to whelks, mussels and periwinkles and they are often joined by scup and tautogs. These fish love the jetty for the protection they believe it offers – initially they feed of the algae and moss but eventually they feed on each other. The jetty does offer a significant advantage to them – the rocks allow them to nestle in and stay away from their larger predators.
High tide is the best time for fishing the jetty. The closer to high tide, the better the fishing will be since you’ll have more water and your prey will be far more focused on finding something to eat. Baitfish are plentiful in the causeways that lead to ponds and rivers – they can be found in abundance when the tide comes and again when the tide goes out.
Along the walls of the jetty you’ll find a rich supply of porgies and blackfish – they need not venture too far from the wall since what they need to survive is readily available to them. For you, this means a fertile fishing ground that allows you to use simple baits with very little weight and shorter casts. Blackfish and porgies are comfortable in the wall area as they feel secure knowing where their next meal is coming from.
Using the right gear in these situations is absolutely essential. You will discover what rod and reel combination suits your kind of fishing on the jetties. It is important not to overlook safety when fishing the rocks, however. Those that fished here know that one of the most important pieces of gear for negotiating the rocks is a good pair of cleats. The rocks stay wet a good portion of the season and tend to grow moss and algae, which can cause an angler to fall very easily. Falling into the surf is a distinct possibility, as is breaking an ankle, arm or leg. A personal flotation device (PFD) is another significant safety item. With the improvement of inflatable PFD’s, you can no longer claim that “it gets in my way” or “it’s too bulky.” You can now wear a PFD around your waist, and simply pull a ripcord to deploy it.
Beach and jetty fishing in the northeast offer great opportunities for fishing. You can get the best of both in one day by visiting the great shorelines that are found here. If you start off fishing for blackfish and decide it’s time for a bluefish or striper, they are not too far away. The shores of the northeast offer a lot of opportunities for a memorable fishing trip for you, your friends and you family. Don’t miss out on these great opportunities.